Do you ever feel shortchanged in life ? Like one is not getting the whole story, or ALL of the TRUTH available ? Do you ever feel like the people you surround yourself with, or had surrounded yourself with were not being completely forthright with you ? Like they had the market on full disclosure and that you were not worthy of that full disclosure ?
Being Gay in a very Straight sober world has its PERKS, but it also has its drawbacks. I’ve been pondering this same truth about myself recently.
I sat with my sponsor the other day, and I shared with him my observations of people in our rooms here. Everything I said to him, about what has been my experience over the last eighteen years, he agreed with me. Because he has seen the same things with his own eyes.
A couple months ago, I changed up my game, and began attending a stand alone, closed men’s meeting, with a handful of men, I know well, and they know me well, because we attend other meetings together, and have been for a very long time.
One of those men, my new sponsor, I really enjoy sitting with him, because every time we sit together he tells me stories about his life. Usually, I leave home on a Wednesday night, uber early, so that I arrive at the hall, early, because I know my sponsor is going to be there. Which is where we began talking a couple of months ago. Talking more that we had been talking because of the spare time we have alone together to chat about life.
I used to hang around a group of long sober men, who, in reality, were not very sober, themselves. I used to go to Vermont with these men for step retreats. Being the only queer man in the sessions, nobody really engaged me honestly, and none of them desired to break bread with me either.
If you cannot break bread with me, I have no use for you.
For all those years, and even before, all my straight sponsors, save, just one, David, never gave me the full truth about alcoholism and The WORK. My step work was always cut short, incomplete.
Last year, when I sat with Noah, I chose to work with him, because I liked what he had to say, every time I heard him speak in a meeting. He knew what he was talking about, every time, with a conviction that was attractive to me. So I asked him to read me through The Book and The WORK.
I knew his sponsor, and he IS a no nonsense human being, who tells it like it is, every time, without fail. I loved that about him. So I knew Noah, got the very same truth, he would tell everybody else.
It was the first time, in all of my years sober, that someone told me the truth, and worked me through a full set of The WORK. He made me think, he asked me hard questions, and pushed me to grow up.
You can learn from many people in the rooms, no matter how long they are sober, if you listen well to them share, and you know just who they, themselves are working with.
I heard a lady share tonight, that “Sobriety, is cumulative. It is not just one thing that you do that makes the difference, it is all its constituent parts that make up the whole experience.”
She is right.
I read, A Lot. I pray as well. I read spiritual literature. I read The Book, and I work with others. I go to meetings, I do service. I do everything that was taught to me since the day I walked into my first home group here in Montreal. And I’ve been able to carry forwards that ritual work for all my years in sobriety. I still do the same thing I did eighteen years ago.
I make COFFEE !
I make coffee because I can get there as early as I want. Usually a hour or two prior to the first human being arriving. Because I know that if I build in that time, I usually get to have a one on one conversation with the first person who arrives as we drink our first cups of freshly perked coffee.
I got to have one of those conversations tonight, and it was fruitful.
The men I know, in the men’s meeting, tell me the truth. They are honest with me, because I try to be honest myself. I learn how to be sober, by doing what good sober people do. Good sober men are few.
There is a difference.
I know what I know today. And I know what I want for my sobriety now. Having thought about it over the past week or so. I’m tired of being short changed by men who think they are sober, but won’t tell the truth or give me all the facts, or give me true sober work.
I know what’s in the book. I’ve read it several times over. I’ve changed up my game enough to give me access to new men and women. Most importantly, the men at that men’s meeting on Wednesday.
If you feel like your sobriety has been short changed, there is a solution.
You just gotta do the footwork and find a meeting where there are long sober men and women who will tell you the truth.
I’ve been GAY a very long time. And I know most uber straight men don’t want anything to do with me, and I know that, by what they do, and what they don’t do, in front of me. If you have to overcompensate, and constantly piss in front of me and tell me how big your dick is, I don’t have any use for you.
My sponsor agreed with me on this the other day.
Even my Gay brothers in the rooms want nothing to do with me. Is it my backstory or that I am not a gay like them? I will never grow up to be a fumpy old gay man. I don’t dress like them, I don’t act like them, and i sure as shit don’t want whatever it is they have.
I sat in a room with all of them for fourteen months reading the Big Book, during the hardest emotional bottom I’ve ever experienced in sobriety yet. And in all that time, not one gay or straight man or woman, ever walked up to me and said …
I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, LET ME TELL YOU HOW I DEALT WITH THAT.
These are the the most important life saving words an alcoholic has, because we have back stories. Experiences. Life Experience. In all its forms.
I’ve NEVER heard these words come out of ANY sober mouth, anywhere in this city, in ALL of my sobriety.
That is a shame.
Because it took a lady from New York to come here, talk to us, and share those words with us.
I won’t be sort changed any longer.